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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 01:52 PM

Vocabulary

What counts as one's vocabulary? The words they use and choose to use in their writing? Or does it--and should it--include words which they are familiar with, and therefore might come across, in someone else's writing?

I enjoy many word games and need to have a pretty wide vocabulary for these games. Sometimes I run across a word which I have never seen before, and therefore isn't included in my vocabulary, or word knowledge. I try to make a mental note of it, but if I have nothing to relate it to, it doesn't stick.

When I was in school many years ago now, I was forced to read and learn Latin, and one of the advantages of that was to learn derivation of words, so it's easier to interpret words if they are from a Romance language. Does that mean I could technically have an even greater vocabulary insofar as many words might share a common root?

Tell me what you think, and how you define your language ability.

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Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Vocabulary (Original post)
hyphenate Jun 2012 OP
NYC_SKP Jun 2012 #1
mia Jun 2012 #2
NYC_SKP Jun 2012 #4
hyphenate Jun 2012 #3
RebelOne Jun 2012 #5

Response to hyphenate (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:02 PM

1. I would love to have been forced to learn Latin.

I'm fascinated by words and word origins, and keep a Latin-English dictionary, as well as a Concordance of the Bible and Concordance of Shakespeare's works, all of which have become relatively dispensable with the introduction of Internet tools.

My word for the day you'll have to go look up (unless you know it):

What is the plural noun for ravens?

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 02:26 PM

2. A conspiracy of ravens!

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Response to mia (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:19 PM

4. Or, an "unkindness of ravens"!

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:17 PM

3. There used to be site with all the collective nouns

I used to love those kinds of groups of words because, sadly, people really aren't very familiar with them the way we were or HAD to be in the old days.

There are several online sites with collections of them, which is nice, because some of these nouns are really evocative.

http://users.tinyonline.co.uk/gswithenbank/collnoun.htm (One of many!)

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Response to hyphenate (Original post)

Tue Jun 19, 2012, 03:30 PM

5. Up until 2010, I was a copy editor,

and my best friend was my dictionary.

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